Let me start with a big number on lost super in NSW…. $4,727,232,615 so that’s – four BILLION, seven hundred and twenty seven MILLION blah blah blah… FOUR BILLION! And that’s just NSW, sheesh.
Firstly let me clarify that I am being paid to tell you guys about this by Suncorp Super. BUT as it is a MASSIVE amount of money that’s sat there, I believe that it’s a story that NEEDS to be told. So even if I wasn’t being paid to tell you, i’d be doing it anyway. Did I say FOUR BILLION!
Let’s ask, and answer a few questions
WHAT IS LOST SUPER?
Well it’s not just gone for a walk in a strange neighbourhood, it’s actually when a super fund can’t locate or contact you, or hasn’t received contributions or rollover amounts in the last 12 months. Basically, you’ve dropped out of sight. The fund will then give your details to the ATO and so the super money you’ve accumulated may become ‘lost’. The ATO will then add your details to a register of ‘lost members’. Superfunds will hold onto your money until it needs to be handed over to the ATO. Get it? Good :-)
Now here’s the main reason why there’s a push on claiming ‘Unclaimed’ super.
After a certain time period, or once your balance falls below a certain amount, super funds must transfer unclaimed super to the ATO – as described above – and this amount is set to change. Currently it’s $2,000 – but it’s soon to jump to $4,000. This is happening in December 2015. The beginning I think and there’s currently around $13billion worth of lost super in Australia, Yes THIRTEEN BILLION which is equivalent to around $9,600 per working Australian.
Meaning, if i’ve got it right, that the tax man is going to get it! So instead of it sitting earning interest, it’ll be going towards making roads or paying for MP’s expenses! So my advice is to go and check and…
GET IT CLAIMED!!!
WHY IS IT LOST?
Good question! My own personal theory is that there are a number of reasons and here they are:
- Dead – The person died and they didn’t tell anyone about the account.
- Forgot – Derrr who forget’s a $90,000 super account apart from the rich?!
- Changed Jobs – It was in a work fund and you forgot to change the details after you got fired for that incident at the Christmas party… Oops.
- Moved House – And again, forgot to update your address details.
- Won The Lottery – Makes sense.
- A.N.Other – A.N.Other useless excuse to not look after your future! It’s soooooo easy, even if like me you’re a disorganised buffoon!
HOW TO FIND LOST SUPER?
Well, if you’re an existing Suncorp Super customer, you can complete the simple form online and they’ll let you know if they find any lost super. Some funds will be automatically combined into your Suncorp Super account and you can also go online to combine any of your other funds found. Or you can go straight to the ATO website and have a search there. It’s that easy! The ATO link is at the bottom of this post guys.
Suncorp offer a couple of superannuation accounts and you can find both accounts here – http://www.suncorp.com.au/super/what-we-offer.
REASONS 1,2,3,4 FOR HAVING ONLY ONE SUPER ACCOUNT
- Save costs by paying one set of fees
- Reduce your paperwork
- Reduce the risk of losing track of your super and losing it for good
- Potentially have more money in retirement
Those $22,500 reasons seem pretty good reasons to me. I’m no financial guru so make sure it’s right for you first. Maybe go and ask your friends what they do and the reasons why. I’ve found that most people are pretty open with things like this. Life insurances for example differ in each fund, so it might pay to keep more than one. A good financial planner/advisor is worth there weight in gold here.
Here’s a chart of the lost super that’s kicking around in someone else’s bank account and earning them money. The average amount is just over $10,000 here in NSW and it’s roughly the same in all states as previously mentioned. I find it amazing that some accounts have upto and in some cases over $90,000 in them.
I think the first port of call should be the ATO website. The link is below. Go and have a look to see what you can find out. It might be yours, it might be a relatives. Whoever’s it is, it needs claiming and to start earning for YOU before the ATO get their hands on it!
Thanks for reading.
ATO held superannuation by postcode for each state in Australia (excel doc HERE)